tv CNN Newsroom Live CNN December 29, 2016 11:00pm-12:01am PST
this is cnn newsroom. ahead this hour. >> striking back. the u.s. kicks out russians accused of spying and slap sanctions on the kremlin's intelligence agencies. >> it is all because of the alleged hacking that interfered with the 2016 election. we will take a closer look at how they pulled it off. plus a cease-fire agreement in effect in syria. and this time diplomats and analysts are optimistic it just may last. >> that would be very important. we are obviously monitoring live from cnn headquarters here in atlanta welcome to our viewers here in the united states and around the world. i'm george howell. >> i'm natalie allen. this is cnn newsroom. russia is at the center of two major stories here in the waning days of 2016. >> it is presently 10:00 a.m. in moscow. we are still monitoring for any
new reaction. this of course after the united states slapped russia with unprecedented new sanctions, punishment for its alleged interference in the 2016 election. >> in syria, it's 9:00 a.m., and we are keeping a close eye on a nationwide cease-fire. russia and turkey brokered the truce. is he far it appears to be holding. more on that in a moment. >> first let's talk about the u.s. president barack obama, who did promise that he would sfon to russia about this alleged hacking in the u.s. election. he has done that, unveiling a range of any sanctions which are all partly requiring three dozen diplomats to leave the united states. >> the sanctions are punish hent for russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. u.s. intelligence agencies say russia hacked into computers at the democratic national committee. they released a trove of damaging information about hillary clinton and her top aides. >> cnn's jim sciutto has more now on how the united states is responding to this.
>> reporter: president obama ordering strong and far reaching retaliation against russia for its unprecedented cyber attack on the u.s. election system. the u.s. is imposing sanctions against nine russian individuals and entities, including the russian spy agency, the fsb, and the russian military intelligence unit, the gru, both believed to be behind the hack. the u.s. is ordering 35 russian intelligence operatives and their families in california and washington, d.c. out of the country within 72 hours. and shutting down two russian government-owned compounds, one in maryland, and another in new york. the president also declassifying intelligence on russian signer activity to help networks in the u.s. and abroad, quote, identify, detect, and disrupt russian cyber attacks. inspite this and the u.s. intelligence community's assessment that russia ordered the election hacking, president-elect trump just last night continued to dismiss both
moscow's involvement and the importance the hacking at all. >> i think we ought to get on with our lives. i think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. the whole, you know, age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on. >> reporter: senator john mccain traveling this week with other senators in the baltic region, where countries are most worried about russian aggression responding today to trump's non-shall ant remarks with a sarcastic jab. >> i agree with president-elect that we need to get on with our lives without having our elections being affected by any outside influences, especially vladimir putin. >> reporter: in a statement before the announcement, russia promised its own retaliation saying if washington takes new hostile steps it will receive an answer. any actions against russian diplomatic missions in the united states will immediately backfire at u.s. diplomats in russia.
the u.s. intelligence community concluded that russian president vladimir putin personally approved of the hacking. in part, to hurt hillary clinton's campaign. this according to intelligence, congressional, and other administration sources. earlier this week senator lindsey gram who is traveling with mccain told cnn in an sbr view that congress is planning its on payback. what are you going to senators if he diplomat change his tune, in effect, on russia? >> there are 100 united states senators. i would say that 99 of us believe the russians did this. and we're going to do something about it. along with senator mccain, after this trip is over we are going to have the hearings and we are going to put sanctions together that hit putin as an individual and his inner circle for interfering in our election. and they are doing it all over the world. not just in the united states. >> reporter: jim shudo, cnn, washington. thursday's executive actions will not be the end of moscow's punishment. president obama says these actions are not the sum total of
our response to russia's aggressive activities. we'll take to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized. >> joining us now to talk more about this is steven fish. he is a political science professor at the university of california in berkeley. steven, good to have you with us this hour. >> my pleasure. >> when it comes to retaliation, a wide range of sanctions that have been leveed by the united states against russia, again, what might you expect to see from the kremlin in response? >> it's hard to know. these sanctions are the kind of thing that countries do under these circumstances. they really aren't that big a deal. they are kinds of what you would expect. i think that the russians will probably respond in kind with perhaps expelling some american diplomats from the country. i don't think it will be all that big an action on their part, though. >> safe to say the response from russia so far hasn't been
diplomatic. a statement released saying quote, it's over, the curtain is down, a bad play is over. the whole world from first seats to the balcony is witnessing a destructive blow on america's prestige and leadership that has been dealt by barack obama and his hardly literal foreign policy team that revealed its main secret to the world, it is a essentially masked helplessness. that doesn't seem all that -- as i would say in texas, that doesn't seem all that diplomatic. >> it's not diplomatic but it is what you would expect under these circumstances. what is strange here is to have a president-elect whose loyalty in the united states is in question. this is what's odd. it wasn't president obama who dealt a blow to american prestige. it's president-elect trump who is doing that right now. and president obama finds himself in a very, very difficult position. never before have we had a president-elect coming into
office who seemed to take more seriously and to respect more a foreign dictator who regards the united states as his sworn enemy than he takes and respects that even more than he respects the american government and american intelligence agencies. s that very strange circumstance. and so president obama is trying to put in place some measures that will slow trumps ability to sell the shop to the russians. i think that's really what's going on here. >> well, you know, that question -- so president-elect trump has made it clear that he would like to improve relations with russia. but obviously, the world will be watching how this plays out when the new president takes the oath of office. u.s. al ayes will be particularly concerned. the question, if the united states won't stand up for itself, would they stand up for us in these alliances? >> exactly. president-elect trump has been very cavalier about his defense of nato, and american alliances.
that gives our allies cause for alarm, needless to say. so you know, this is a very unusual situation. president-elect trump today was -- the way he dismissed this russian cyber attack on the united states, saying it's some problem of the computer aim where we really don't understand who is doing what to whom anymore, this is simply bizarre. american intelligence agencies understand perfect lee well what's going on. it's just for some reason president-elect trump doesn't want to believe it. this puts the united states in a very strange position. and now we are going to see if america has leadership, especially the republican party of the united states, whether its congressman and foreign policy leaders outside the united states will stand up and try to correct trump in what looks like are going to be bizarre policy decisions on his part. >>ities let's circle back to sanctions in the time question for you in this segment.
these sanctions, do they really work? because we saw the united states level sanctions against russia before. crimea was annexed. did sanctions matter then? will they matter now? is it an effective tool? >> sanctions are a partially effective tool. they do bite. the sanctions on russia applied after the inkurgs into east ukraine and after the annexation of crimea have induced some pain. of course the russians aren't going to withdraw from crimea in response to this. the same thing will high pressure here. they are not going to stop their cyber attacks because of this. but obama is doing this hoping it will affect american behavior in the future. s' hoping it will be very difficult for trump to rescind these sanction. if he comes to office and says, as he said recently, it's time to move on what he is going to be doing is basically saying either that he continues to deny that russia is engaging in these
activities which i think is going to be increasingly hard for him to do after he takes office or he is going to have to say basic he cloo it is a okay if russia does these kinds of things to us if of course the russians would never do if we do those kinds of things to them. i think obama is trying to guard the united states now against trump not against putin. >> the big question would be when the new president takes the oath of office would he roll back these sanctions that have been put in place by the u.s. president, barack obama. steven fish, thank you so much for being with us today. >> my pleasure. russia is a major player in the next story as well. we have for you a nationwide cease-fire in syria that's in its first full day. a fragile peace deal appears to be holding in the early going. >> russia and turkey helped to broker the agreement between the syrian regime and militias. but a number of groups were left out of the talks. we are monitoring the cease-fire from istanbul, turkey.
ian, could this be the one that works? >> reporter: well, it could be the one that has the greatest chance of working, natalie. you do have russia, who is overseeing the syrian regime. also hezbollah, as well as iranian forces on the ground. on the other side you have turkey which is overseeing the rebel side of the fighting. so for the most part, it does look like it could be the one that works. although it's still very early and both sides have said this is very fragile. we are hearing on ground that it is holding for the most part. there are three steps to the cease-fire. the first one is just to get the fighting to stop. the second step is to create a mechanism so if there are any violations that they will be able to hash them out through negotiations, through dialogue. and then the third step is going to be getting these sides together in kazakhstan next
monday to try to figure out some sort of -- some sort of peace deal that ends this six-year civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people. >> right. and what would be the sticking points in turning this cease-fire into a peace deal, ian? >> reporter: the first sticking point is going to be making sure that the fighting stops, that both the rebels and the syrian regime stop fighting between the two. although it is important to note that that isis is not a part of this cease-fire, as well as the al qaeda affiliated rebel group. but there is also the ypg, which are the kurdish fighters. they are not part this cease-fire as well. so there are other elements on the ground that aren't a part of this. the other one is going to be the status of syrian president bashar al assad. now turkey for the longest time has said assad must go. but the question is now, with a peace deal will they soften that stance? >> absolutely.
that is a big one. ian lee following it for us. we will stay in close wac contact with you. thank you. again, russia has been slapped with u.s. sanctions and russia is not very happy about that. up next what the incoming u.s. president could do, and if reversing the measures would be a good idea. at planters, we put fresh roawhich has its drawbacks.an, guys, know anything about this missing inventory? wasn't me! the cheeks don't lie, chet... irresistibly planters. family road trip! fun! check engine. not fun! but, you've got hum. that's like driving with this guy. all you do is press this, and in plain english, "coolant", you'll know what's wrong. if you do need a mechanic, just press this. "thank you for calling hum." and if you really need help, help can find you, automatically, 24/7. because you put this, in here. hum by verizon. the technology designed to make your car
are going expelled from the united states it's all part of the sanctions being levied. >> the russian foreign ministry is angry saying it's over, the curtain is down. a bad play is over. the whole world from first seats to the balcony is witnessing a deinstructive blow on america's prestige and leadership that has been dealt by president barack obama and his hardly literate foreign policy team that revealed its main vet to the world that it is exceptionally masked helplessness and no enemy could have caused more harm to the u.s. joining us more to talk about the sanctions again russia ands betsy woodruff and larry is a
batto. thank you for joining us. >> good to have you with us. let's start first with these sanctions. and donald trump's response to these sanction, if we could take it here full, he says, quote, it's time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, i will meet with the leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts this situation. larry, this first question to you. so, despite the fact that is u.s. intelligence agencies, these many agency, with confidence, came together with this very specific finding, donald trump still has doubts. what's the play here? >> well, it's an extraordinary statement by the president-elect. it's odd in lots of different ways because donald trump is in disagreement not just with the intelligence community, not just with the obama administration, but also with republicans and
the leadership of the gop in both the u.s. house of representatives and the u.s. senate. they all think it is a big thing. so this is just another indication of the massive change that we're going to experience in the united states on january 20th. >> betsy, though, quickly to you. if donald trump, though, were to accept the finding of the u.s. intelligence community, would that in fact be him accepting also the questions about his legitimacy with regards to his win for the presidency? >> i don't think it would. that's because these russian hacks that occurred didn't actually affect the way that votes were cast. we know concludives civil the intelligence community has said as conclusively as possible that russian actors didn't affect the number of votes cast. what they did was present information that otherwise wouldn't have been available but they didn't change the way the
votes from cast. this is how democracy works, and if people decided to vote based on the vicky leaks e-mails or things that john podesta released, that's their decision. >> listen to what the white house homeland security adviser told cnn. >> i will say the reversal of sanctions such as what you have described would be highly unusual. indeed the sanctions usually remain in place until the activity and the reasons for them being imposed in the first place has been removed. >> so of course the trump team doesn't seem to acknowledge full lee that russia is behind the hackings. betsy, do you expect that president trump will undo all of this? it is a really good question. it's not going to be something that's going to be easy to predict. i think there is a possibility that said trump hasn't filled a number of the administrative jobs -- he hasn't picked some of
his closest advisors who are going to be handling russia issues. rex tillerson, secretary of state, heads exxon. we know they loss more than a billion dollars after the annexation of crimea. some are earn canned that that might inform the way tillerson thinks about the sanction. that said it would be a whiplash change in american policy for these sanctions to be in place for just a few weeks and immediately to be overturned. it's hard to game out. we will be paying attention to what trump says about it. >> the president of the united states only has about three weeks to go before donald trump takes the oath of office. the question many are asking, the trump team is accusing the obama administration of playing politics here. listen how kellyanne conway, trump's senior adviser describes it. >> i will tell you that even those who are sympathetic to president obama on most issues
are saying that part of the reason he did this today was to quote box in president-elect trump. that would be very unfortunate if that were the motive, if politics from the motivating factor here. we can't help but think that's often true. each the "new york times" characterized it as such this may be an team to box him in to see what he will do as president. that's the way that transition of administrations work in our democracy. >> the obama administration at one point was criticized for not speaking up, doing more during the election itself when it had this information. you will remember that was back in october. now the question, three weeks to go before president obama is out, donald trump is in. is this a matter of playing politics? >> well, politics always enters into these decisions. but listen to the republican leadership in the house and senate. what did they say today? while they backed what president obama was doing they actually wanted stronger action.
and they criticized obama for not doing this earlier. i think there is a better case to be made that obama didn't take action in october because he thought that hillary clinton was going to win and that it might play into donald trump's attempts to call the election rigged if he had taken action against russia at that time. so that's when the politics came into play. i don't think you can fault president obama for taking some action against the russians assuming he has the information that proves russia was responsible. and just about everybody in the intelligence community says that that's exactly what happened. >> house speaker paul ryan issued a statement that appears to be at odds with donald trump. let's quote him here. russia does not share america's interests n. fact, it has consistently sought to unmine them. so in dangerous instable around the world. while today's action by the administration is overdue, it is an appropriate way to end eight
years of failed policy with russia. speaking about the obama administration. so betsy to you. republicans are sending mixed messages. some blame the dnc for lack of security. some want to deny involvement, some want to be tough on russia. >> most of the criticism of the dnc and the defense of russia are coming from those in trump's immediate and close circle. they are trying to push this narrative that russia might not be responsible, we don't know enough, we he don't have conclusive information. for the most part outside of that transic team sector of the republican party which is quite powerful, of course, but outside of that the general consensus, the mainstream's view in the gop is that russia has overreached, that it has become much too militant. that its incursions, particularly into ukraine and crimea are dooply troubling.
that's why some are supporting not just the sanctions president obama has put in place but also gunning for more sanctions in the future. it's not just republicans who believe that. adam schiff, one of the most influential members of the house of representatives and a democrat said it's likely he believes the u.s. should amp up its sanction of russia next year in the next congress. >> betsy wood, larry is a badda to, we appreciate both your insights, thank. much more on russia's hacking still ahead this hour. we'll show you exactly how they did it. and the e-mail that started it all. plus, aleppo, syria at peace. not something we've seen very often. why this newest cease-fire finally could make a lasting reality. we are live from atlanta, broadcasting across the u.s. and worldwide this hour. this is cnn newsroom. tokyo-style ramen noodles.
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welcome back to our viewers here in the united states and all around the world. you are watching cnn newsroom live from atlanta. i'm natalie apple. >> i'm jorm howell. first to syria. people there are holding out hope this latest cease-fire will hold. this is aleppo. more calm now than we've seen before. some of the worst violence of the civil war has taken place right where you see it. >> it was russia and turkey who orchestrated the new peace deal between the syrian regime and various rebel militias. but many groups were excluded from those talks. and notably, the u.s. had no part to play either. joining is colonel rick francona. happy new year to you. thank you for joining us. >> and to you. >> this isn't the first time as
you know well that parties agreed to auto cease-fire in syria. any indication this time, any chance at the celebration of the new year this agreement could hold? >> well, this is different this time. the conditions that led up to this agreement have changed. if you look at the situation on the ground in northern syria, the rebels have been dealt vafr blows. not the least of which was the loss of aleppo. and with the russians demonstrating their willingness to use whatever power it takes to subdue the rebels i think they realize they better make whatever deal they can get. if you look at the military situation with the regime now firmly in control of aleppo or cole -- consolidating their positions there. it looks pretty grim for the rebels and i think they realize that. and i think they realize that maybe they need to sit down and talk to the other side.
also they are looking at the results of the u.s. election. and they know come january 20th there is a new administration. mr. trump said he is not in favor of overthrowing all the regimes in the middle east. they are not sure what kind of backing they are going after the administration comes into power. i think they are more willing to talk. on the other side. you have got the government who now is feeling momentum. they have been sum of it's good that everybody is willing to sit down and go to the table. but the rebels are definitely in the lesser position here. >> right. yes, because you are right, you know, russia along with the regime, pounded aleppo. and you would think the -- russia may have the impetus now to help make this stick. one of the challenges, though, of course, that always got in the way of the earlier efforts was the fact there are so many groups and factions involved in the conflict. russia says almost all of them are on board this time. but how challenges will it be to
hold the groups accountable and make sure they stick to the terms this agreement? >> well, we run into the same problem as always. it is a definition of who falls inside the agreement and who falls outside the agreement. this time they are being more include is with people that are inside the agreement. however you still have got -- you know, isis is completely out of the agreement. and you have got the former al qaeda affiliate, who are fair game for attacks. but the other groups are all inside the agreement. so it may be a little better for holding this time. but you are still going to see a lot of russian attacks. the problem is the definition of a terrorist. the syrian government believes anybody that has taken up arms is a terrorist. the russians are in that same vein as well. and if we believe that the russians are going to strike isis, i think we are being naive. they are going to continue to pound the anti-rej e-mail eem rebels calling them terrorists. they only strike isis when there is a threat to the regime.
although i have hope this might hold better the key to this is they have all agreed to meet at the taliban in kazakhstan after 30 days that could be a breakthrough. i think the rebels are in a weak position, but at least they are sitting down and talking. and if we can stop this blood bath that is syria, that's a positive. >> i appreciate very much your hopeful knight note. and of course we'll be following it as we push on into the new year. thanks military analyst rick francona. >> my ples sthoour. >> when you 24i about the global impact of syria's civil conflict it has been stagger, it has drawn in several world powers, militias and jihadists. and triggered a refugee crisis. the incoming secretary general calls it a cancer on a global scale. the war is fast approaching its sixth year. that grim anniversary comes
around in march. the united nations envoy estimated some 400,000 syrians lost their lives and that more than 11 million people have been forced from their homes because of all the fighting happening there. >> amid all the disturbing and graphic images of death and destruction we have all seen the most heart wrenching involve the smaultest and most inspect victims. clarissa ward takes a look at an entire generation of children who have known nothing but war. >> reporter: you have seen so many images by now of children covered in dust, children's lifeless bodies being lifted from the rubble. and occasionally each an image
that gives hope, a moment of optimism, a baby rescued from deep in the rubble after a massive bombing. in march of 2011, a group of young boys spray painted anti-government great feety on a wall. they were arrested and disappeared for two weeks. when they returned home, their families found that their bodies were scarred from torture, allegedly at the hands of regime forces. and that really provided the spark that ignited a series of protests not just in the city they were from, but across the entire country. about a year later, you had the hula massacre which was one of the most horrific incidents in the syrian civil war when roughly 100 people were killed by government soldiers, and half of them were believed to be children. and those images served as a real rallying cry not just
inside syria but to people across the world. in 2012, the muslims began their assault on the city of aleppo. that's when he started seeing children becoming victims of war. children getting caught in the crossfire. children being killed by spray bullets, by snipers, by rockets, as rebels and government forces continued to fight on and on for weeks, sometimes over just a matter of 100 feet. but the real horrors came for children when the barrel bombs began. the conflict took an even uglier turn in 2013 when the government used sarin gas against the people in a damascus suburb. i don't think anyone can forget seeing the images of the children's bodies wrapped in these white shrouds. since then there has been no end to depravity. we have seen children who have
been starved who have been forced to eat grass because of the besieges going on across the country. we have seen a young child beheaded by a rebel group in one of the more gruesome incidents throughout this war. we see children now being groomed to be child soldiers, to be killers, to be suicide bombers by groups like isis. and we've seen millions of children pouring across syria's borders into neighboring countries, into europe. and of course we've seen that iconic image now of one boy who didn't make it who speaks for so many other little boys and girls who also have not made it. and sometimes you will have a photograph that will capture the world's imagination for a moment, and everybody will suddenly feel the suffering of syria for a moment. and then it passes. and then life goes on as it always has. and i think in many ways children have come to symbolize
the horrors of syria, but also the impotence of the international community and its failure to stop it. >> it's been difficult, difficult to watch. but we haven't gone through it. they have. >> yes. >> i can't imagine. if you are interested had helping syrian people who need food and shelter and medical assistance go to our website syri. moving on to germany now. prosecutors say they have released a tunisian main detained on links to this person, the person suspected in the berlin market attack. they say further investigation showed that the 40-year-old man could not have been the suspect's contact. >> officials also say the truck rampage that killed 12 people could have been worse had it not been for the automatic braking
system on the truck that plowed into that crowd. they say the system sensed impact and applied the brakes. the clock is ticking down on 2016. isn't it? new york is planning enhanced security measures for the traditional times square new year's eve celebration. officials say 7,000 officers will be deployed. there will be multiple layers of screening and for the first time dozens of sand trucks will be strategically posted around times square. they say there are no specific threats related to terrorism. the preparations aren't all about security check. planners ran a quick confetti test for the moment 2017 arrives. it looks like it's going to work. russia asked for the evidence of hacking, and the united states is giving it up. how moscow managed to allegedly meddle in the 2016 election. stay with us. known for its perfect storm of tiny bubbles,
russia is vowing to respond to new u.s. sanction, punishment for allegedly interfering in the u.s. election. barack obama announced he will expel 35 russian diplomats from the u.s. and impose sanctions on russians russian spell jens and on three russian companies. the united states will also ks close two russian compounds in maryland and in new york. the sanctions come by way of executive order. though elect donald trump says it is time for the united states to move on to bigger and better thing. >> president obama's top homeland security adviser told cnn it would be unusual for trump to reverse the sanctions. >> lisa monaco talked about the report the u.s. released on
thursday detailing how the u.s. believes russia hacked u.s. e-mails. listen. >> we are also disclosing today and exposing today a set of information from the department of homeland security and the fbi that will enable network defenders people operating networks across our country and frashlly internationally to better defend themselves. we are exposing the tactics, the techniques, the procedures that the russian intelligence services have used to interfere in our election and to probe our systems. >> there are people asking where are the facts? show us what is happening. they are showing what's happening. that was lisa monaco, the white house's top homeland security adviser. >> brian todd has more on how the u.s. says russia breached u.s. e-mail systems. >> reporter: moscow says the hacking allegations against russia are groundless. vladimir putin challenging america to prove them. u.s. officials tell cnn the hacks continue around the clock,
fishing attempts targeting private e-mail candidates associated with hillary clinton's campaign as recently as december 6. this man specialized in cyber intelligence with the firm that investigated the russian hacks for the democratic party. he and other experts have new information on operations inside putin's hacking teams which they say are as talented as they come. >> when it comes to espiage they are close to the best in the world. probably right after our own here in the united states. >> reporter: crowd strike discovered that a russian hacking team called cozy bear first penetrated the dnc in the summer of 2015. crowd strike says that team, also known as the dukes or apt 29, for advanced persistent threat, is tied to russian intelligence. in march of this year, crowd strike says, another russian hacking team, fancy bear, began targeting the democratic party.
fancy bear is believed to be commanded by the gru, russia's military intelligence ministry. >> allows them to access the computer, download files, upload files, take pictures of what's going on the screen, execute campaign. >> reporter: quote, someone has your password says an e-mail to campaign chair john poe deada in march posted on line by wikileaks. it says to click on this link to reset the password. >> it will take them to what looks like a google login. and they will be asked for their use name and password. when they provide that it will forward to it google but the attacker actually now has a copy. >> reporter: a tactic used by what's believed to be an army of at least 4,000 russian intelligence agents. who are they. >> people in military uniforms, people that are more business
focused. and then there is going to be a technical cadre that may be more informal and more casual. >> reporter: a key question now, who are the next targets of the fancy bear and cozy bear hacking teams? crowd strike says nato should have its guard up. any company that has major business deals going in russia. and they say political leaders in france and germany should have their cyber defenses ready. those are countries having political elections next year, countries where russia cares a lot about the outcome of those election. brian todd, cnn, washington. parts of the united states are bracing for a major snowstorm. next we'll find out who might be getting hit really hard. stay with us.
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in 2016 it became stunningly clear that we are warming the climate and there are dire consequences. i'm in a tiny village in alaska about 30 miles from the arctic circle and i'm sure it looks cold out here, but locals are actually complaining about the heat. the arctic is warming sb twice as fast as the rest of the planet and in mid-november this entire region was 35 degrees farenheit above normal. this is happening all around the world, and 2016 is actually
expected to be the hottest year on record. this spring a drought in india was so intense it led some farmers to commit suicide. in may monster wildfires forced 88,000 people in canada to flee. in july a city in kuwait hit a stunning 129 degrees farenheit or 54 celsius. that month was named the hottest ever until august tied it. scientists are getting better at tying it to us. scientist say that event was made 40% more likely because of climate change. here, locals voted that same month to abandon their village which their ancestors lived in for 400 years. the perma frost is melting and coast crumbling. are we causing all of the bad weather? no. but we are burning fossil fuels which is heating the planet and puts our fingerprints on the extreme weather more than ever before. ♪ >> now, that is a real problem that is happening. >> yes, we are seeing extreme weather on the other side right
now. >> yeah. in fact, parts of canada and the north eastern united states are getting hit hard right now by a major winter storm. portland, maine is seeing heavy snow on the streets. cold, cold winds there. by the time it is all over some places could have more than a foot of snow. >> with us now, you know, we were just talking about the hottest record year and now seeing this. >> keeps coming in. >> it is all connected, extreme cold, extreme heat. >> absolutely. what we are seeing take place across places like canada, as you said, george, and the north eastern united states, you think about montreal in particular and also in toronto, the pierson airport, 500 flights delayed or cancelled in the past 24 hours, the largest single impacted airport on the planet on thursday from the same storm system battering the united states. this is what it looked like across montreal. a lot of cities getting ready for new year's festivities and celebrations and this is not what you want to see if you are city officials across the region. they say they will be putting
2200 cars and vehicles on the road there to try to clear some of the snow on the sidewalks. you think about the city itself, montreal, 6200 miles of roadways, 10,000 kilometers of the metropolitan area of sidewalks and roadways the officials say they have to try to clear as we get into saturday night. of course, you think about that expansive area, talking about a distance of new york city to los angeles back to new york city that has pob plowed in snow, a little more of that of what has come down in the past 24 hours to have a transportation scenario set up where you can travel on the roads over the next couple of days. 179 flights were cancelled into and out of the united states on thursday, over 2400 flights delayed across the united states, a lot of them centered right here across the north eastern portion. we have snowshowers streaming in around the great lakes and accumulations as much as 2 feet came down. look at the date stamp up there. that's 12 hour accumulations of 24 inches and still snowing across some of the area, but the
temperature contrast is rather large. once you work your way towards the major metropolitan cities it is all rain. new york, boston, they are staving off the vast majority of this which is good news if you are in line to be one of the millions of people across times square over the next couple of days when it comes to celebrating because we've seen very cold days before and very snowy days for this time of year. not going to be the case this go around at least. >> all right. well, a lot of people still will be out there packed and still cold. >> absolutely. >> thank you. >> thank yous, guys. >> tennis superstar is getting married. so proud. so happy for her. serena williams is engaged to alexis ohinion, the cofounder of the social news site reddit. his spokesman says he popped the question while the two were vacationing in rome. serena posted right here claiming, i said yes. >> the former world number one champ dated since the fall of 2015. no word yet on a wedding date.
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. barack obama retaliates against russia, sanctions issued, diplomats ejected while donald trump says it is time to move on. >> plus, in syria a nationwide ceasefire, but not all groups are involved in it. >> and later, a killer with a conscience. meet the man who claims he killed dozens of people under orders from rodrigo duarte, now president of the philippines. >> a president who has admitted to doing the same. live from cnn headquarters in atlanta, welcome to viewers around the states and the world. i'm george howard. >> i'm natalie allen. this is "cnn newsroom." ♪